There are a number of adjectives that would accurately describe Tempe, AZ’s Nightgaun—noisy, filthy, retching, etc.—but perhaps none more fitting than “raw.” Continuing the chiropteran-themed imagery first displayed on their impressive self-titled 7” debut, the cover art for Absurdity of Meaning— a crude depiction of a bat being stabbed through the sternum with a switchblade—provides a strong indication of the frantic assault within.
The first song, “Disgusting Affront to Human Dignity”—like the five that follow—is a crustified blast of raw punk. With ear-piercing feedback and an exasperating “Aaarrrggghhh”, courtesy of the throaty Joe Rox, it’s off to the races. And a short race it is—Absurdity as a whole clocks in at…well, shorter than it would take to get together the means with which to actually time it.
If you should find yourself following along on the starkly-etched lyric sheet (which is a daunting task, I might add,) you’ll find that much of the subject matter addresses political and environmental concerns. And while these topics are not entirely specific to Arizona, they are certainly close to home. For example, the aforementioned, “Disgusting Affront” is a send up of the states’s interpretation of the immigration policy, whereas “A Fleeting Desert Eden” focuses on the mass-raping of desert water supply by big-business land developers.
Stylistically there is little variation from song to song. It’s blown-out and crust-tinged but not so much in the D-beat vein, and—aside from a few black metal-esque vocal effects here and there—it's outside the metal realm as well. As the punx would say, it's punk as fuck. Although this record is equally as ripping as their first, there is a slightly noticeable cleaner-sounding mix. The vocals are still guttural, charged, and for the most part unintelligible, but a little less overblown than on the previous record. As well, the guitars seem more distinguishable; at times allowing for the tiniest bit of skill to peek through. The drums however, have a sort of muted effect, reminiscent of Doom’s BBC Peel Session recordings. All that being said, let’s get one thing clear: Nightgaun plays blazingly fast and intense hardcore, with little regard for things like “musicianship”, “song structure” and other bullshit that self-indulged (read: boring) bands care about. Yes, this is “raw” at its finest.
8.0 / 10
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